Contestability in algorithmic systems

Kristen Vaccaro, Karrie Karahalios, Deirdre K. Mulligan, Daniel Klutz, Tad Hirsch

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


As algorithmic (and particularly machine learning) decision making systems become both more widespread and make more important decisions, there are growing concerns about their embedded values and ability to establish legitimacy among decision subjects. We argue that designing for contestability in these systems can assist in surfacing values, aligning system design and use with context, and building legitimacy. However, designing for contestability can be challenging, particularly in systems that are designed to be opaque: systems need to accurately surface embedded values, expose decision making processes in ways that are meaningful for users, support engagement with and allow influence over system performance, and so on. In addition to these technical aspects, designing for contestability may by challenged by the need to protect intellectual property and prevent gaming of the system. In this workshop, we will address goals, audiences, and designs for contestability in algorithmic systems. We hope to develop a taxonomy of contestable systems and understand the value provided by contestability, while bringing together a community to work on this multidisciplinary problem.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationCSCW 2019 Companion - Conference Companion Publication of the 2019 Computer Supported Cooperative Work and Social Computing
PublisherAssociation for Computing Machinery
Number of pages5
ISBN (Electronic)9781450366922
StatePublished - Nov 9 2019
Event22nd ACM Conference on Computer-Supported Cooperative Work and Social Computing, CSCW 2019 - Austin, United States
Duration: Nov 9 2019Nov 13 2019

Publication series

NameProceedings of the ACM Conference on Computer Supported Cooperative Work, CSCW


Conference22nd ACM Conference on Computer-Supported Cooperative Work and Social Computing, CSCW 2019
Country/TerritoryUnited States


  • Algorithmic experience
  • Contestability

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Software
  • Computer Networks and Communications
  • Human-Computer Interaction


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